Amdavadis will be able to enjoy a new water sport this summer, with the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Ltd (SRFDCL) launching kayaking at Riverfront on March 31.
The sport will be available on the 1 km stretch below Sardar Bridge at Ghat No.11 on the Riverfront’s lower promenade up to Ambedkar Bridge. Kayaking is being made available in the city for the first time.
“Kayaking was a great success at the National Games held in Gujarat last year. The AMC commissioner felt that the activity should be brought to Sabarmati and proposals were invited. The highest bidder with the correct technical qualification and experience was selected for the same,” said the source.
Junaid Khokhar, Founder Ahmedabad Kayaks and the operating agency for kayaking at SRFDCL said usually people have to travel far to enjoy kayaking. “We have been operating Baroda Kayaks in Mahisagar river and 50% of the visitors at Mahisagar river for kayaking are from Ahmedabad despite it being 110 km away. This clearly shows the interest the city has in the sport,” said Khokhar.
He said people are keen on the sport and it is an eco-friendly activity. “All security measures for the kayaks as well as for those using it like life jackets, rescue boats, and lifeguards onshore and offshore will be made available. Anyone above 12 years of age can do it,” he said.
Seven double-seater kayaks, three single-seater ones and a rescue boat will be available as of now.
According to Shubhank Takalkar, Co-founder of Ahmedabad Kayaks, the water sports operator will initially provide training to participants. “They will learn how to pedal a kayak, how to turn, sit, reverse the boat, and take u-turns. They’ll also learn how to get back on their kayaks if they fall off. The kayaks do not drown because they are hollow and airtight” Takalkar stated. Participants, however, will be required to sign a declaration form stating that they understand the instructions as well as the risk, according to him. The kayaking stretch has varying depths, with the one near the Ghat being 8 feet deep and the lower promenade being 12-5 feet deep.
The sport will be available throughout the year as long as the water level is maintained.